Ubuntu – Installing Ubuntu on a SSD

ssdsystem-installation

Going to install Ubuntu 10.10 on new intel x25M 80GB SSD. It will be fresh install. I have been googling for past few days and getting overwhelming articles/blogs/Q&As. One particularly very useful being:

How do I optimize the OS for SSDs?

But with so many suggestions and differences of opinions (on different links) this simple OS install process seems to be daunting task to me and I really want to stick with Ubuntu (although have used for very short period of time).

Can someone help me by answering few questions (yes, they are repeated because I couldn't comprehend the answers elsewhere)

  1. Which file system (ext2/3/4 or something else)? (consider SSD life)
  2. Can it be changed after installation?
  3. Should I partition the disk? (as we do in traditional HDD) for now, no plan of dual booting. Only Ubuntu will live on scarce space of 80GB SSD.
  4. I have 2 GB RAM, should i still allocate swap space (if I don't allocate swap space, can I still hibernate the machine)? will swap space impact SSD life?
  5. Should I consider putting additional 1GB RAM to avoid swap space?
  6. What is partition aligning? Is it needed to be done before installing the Ubuntu OS or can be done later?

Intended usage – heavy browsing, programming, regular video/music and some other non-CPU/RAM-intensive programs. Will keep big files in an external hard drive.

laptop config – 3yr old Vaio, Core2 Duo, 2GB RAM

More references:

Best Answer

  • I'll start by saying that the answer you linked already summarizes all the optimizations you may need.

    Next, to answer your questions:

    1. Which file system (ext2/3/4 or something else)? (consider SSD life)

    ext4 is a good filesystem even for SSD, so that would be my suggestion. (If you want performance so bad you should try XFS )

    2. Can it be changed after installation?

    Yes, but it is not trivial, so choose well from the start :)

    3. Should I partition the disk? (as we do in traditional HDD) for now, no plan of dual booting. Only Ubuntu will live on scarce space of 80GB SSD.

    This is really not a matter of SSD, but your personal choice. If you were to ask me I'll say no; don't partition the disk you will end in loosing useful space. (If you end with a partition with 2GB free and another with 1GB free, you theoretically have 3Gb free but cannot copy a 3GB file... that space is wasted )

    4. I have 2 GB RAM, should I still allocate swap space (if I dont allocate swap space, can i still hibernate the machine)? will swap space impact SSD life? I wouldn't worry so much about the SSD life ( modern one can run for decades ), however 2GB of RAM are enough not to need the swap partition. Finally the swap partition is needed in order to hibernation, so if you want to hibernate the machine then you need the swap partition.

    5. Should I consider putting additional 1GB RAM to avoid swap space? 1GB more or ram is always useful :) do it if you can.

    6. What is partition aligning? is it needed to be done before installing the Ubuntu OS or can be done later?

    That is the procedure where you align clusters, blocks and chunks. IMHO it is only needed on servers with a lot of data throughput. A good tool to do partition alignment is GParted. Of course this should be done before installing Ubuntu.

    Hope this helps :)

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